Five tips on using social media during COVID-19

As businesses and brands the world over face the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic, you may be wondering how best to leverage your social channels to help see your organisation through the crisis. Here are Content Empire’s top five insights and tips:

1. People are spending more time on social

The COVID-19 shutdown – and the resulting increase in time spent at home – is seeing consumers spending more time online, on social media in particular. According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report, 1 in every 3 minutes spent online by Australians is spent on social. Mobile data specialists, App Annie, report that time spent on non-gaming apps (including social apps) jumped by up to 30% in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

Tip: This rise in activity presents an increased opportunity to connect with your audience. The key is to use social media in a sensitive way – being tone deaf to the COVID-19 crisis could win you unwanted criticism instead of the engagement you seek.

2. Use content to support, not sell

If your sales and revenue forecasts are heading in the wrong direction due to the COVID-19 shutdown, it may be tempting to turn to social as your number 1 sales tool. But focusing on sales alone is at odds with social media’s primary role as a means to connect, engage and build your brand’s reputation and trust. Now more than ever, think about how you can support your social media audience through content.

Some of social’s COVID-19 success stories are a case in point. Woolworths has earned customer kudos on its social channels for its activities and posts that are about helping its most vulnerable customers. Netfit Netball has kept its online community engaged with free fitness workouts and live netball skills clinics. Methodist Ladies’ College has used social to inspire its community by sharing activities and ideas for staying well while learning from home.

Tip: If you make an investment in providing value-adding content now, rest assured you are building loyalty and awareness that will ‘pay off’ when consumer confidence returns.

3. Focus on your audience

Success on social media comes back to the same drivers of any effective communication strategy: audience and purpose. Remember, your audience is likely to be using social media for enjoyment and information during COVID-19. Try to tailor your content to your audience’s needs and interests at this unusual time.

Don’t forget to adopt a mobile-first mentality. The majority of users access social media on their mobiles. Digestible copy, clear calls to action and relevance are so important.

Tip: Use your knowledge of your audience to tailor content to their needs during COVID-19. Case studies, customer stories, product news and ‘how tos’ are all ideas to consider. Polls and quizzes are hugely popular and can be great tools for creating strong engagement and obtaining audience insights.

4. Make sure your website is working hard

It’s likely that your social strategy aims to drive traffic to your website. But do your customers find what they are looking for once they land? What is their user experience? Does it align with your social messaging? Depending on the time and resources you have available, now might be an opportune time to work on your website and it ensure its ready for business post-lockdown.

Tip: It’s still important to remember that platforms like Facebook prefer calls to action that don’t take users away from the platform. Make sure around 1 in every 5 of your posts does not link back to your website, to give your content a higher chance of being preferenced by Facebook.

5. Streamline your efforts for maximum impact

Doing social media well takes time, effort and a strategic approach. With many organisations looking to streamline expenditure during COVID-19, focusing on one social channel – and using it really well – can help reign in the time and expense of managing your social presence.

Which channel is most used by your audience? On which channel do you already have the most engagement/following? Which channel can you realistically post to with a degree of frequency? For example, Instagram is a highly visual channel – if your organisation struggles to source a steady stream of beautiful images or graphics, it may be simpler to focus on Facebook or Linkedin.

Tip: Leverage tools like Canva, which features hundreds of free templates, to help you quickly create beautiful social content.

Content Empire can help your business or organisation succeed on social. Contact us to find out more.

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